Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Case Plays: Infield Interference, Foul Fly or Complete Chaos

Umpires encountered a most unusual blend of infield fly & interference Sunday, merging the safe/out call with the fair/foul call and even throwing an interference/obstruction equation to the mix—if this was an ejection, "Reason for Ejection" might have been most difficult to categorize as simply one type.

Video: Broadcaster Vin Scully says: "Hold everything, forget the play. Forget the play." (LAD)
Video: One out, one swing—and an atypically long trialogue between umpires and both managers (MIA)

Get out those rule books because this play is a head-scratching dream of a brain-teaser.

Tichenor points at the infraction.
Answer: When B1 Cruz hit his fly ball 45' down the first base line, the umpires declared "Infield Fly, if Fair," after which R1 Ethier interfered with F3 Lee, which U1 Tichenor judged as the one fielder most entitled to attempt a play on the batted ball. R1 is out for interference and the play is dead, Rules 2.00 [Interference], 7.08(b), 7.09(j). What followed—F2 Brantly botched the catch, with PU Randazzo declaring a fair ball, R2 tagged at third base—is irrelevant as the play became dead upon the interference call. Crucial to successfully adjudicating this play in regards to B1 is the distinction between: "Fair Ball," "Foul Ball," "Not a Fair Ball," and "Probable Fair Ball."

B1 is not out on the Infield Fly Rule, because "Infield Fly" was never declared as the ball was not timely deemed "Fair Ball" or "Probable Fair Ball." Instead, the umpires ruled "Infield Fly, if Fair," meaning that the status of the ball (fair/foul) was unclear and the "Infield Fly," therefore was dependent on a future ruling of fair/foul/probable-fair. Rule 2.00 [Infield Fly] instructs officials to declare "Infield Fly" when "it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly," or when status changes from "Not a Fair Ball" to "Probable Fair Ball." Rule 6.05(e) states that the batter is out when "Infield Fly" is declared, which means B1 is out when status becomes "Probable Fair Ball." Ergo, had the umpires deemed status as "Probable Fair Ball" and declared "Infield Fly" prior to the interference and associated dead ball, B1 would have been out on the Infield Fly rule. Instead, the status of the ball was not yet fair/foul/probable-fair: It was "Not a Fair Ball," which means it was not yet an Infield Fly. The ensuing action on the ground is irrelevant as the play was killed upon the interference call. For this reason, OBR instructs: "Decision [of IFF] should be made immediately."

Finally, the question of whether B1 has completed his time at bat relies on Rule 6.04, which states a batter has legally completed his time at bat when he is put out or becomes a runner. Because B1 has not been put out, and we are not looking at an inning- or game-ending play that would prematurely terminate the batter's at-bat, we consider whether he has become a runner. Rule 6.09 states eight criteria under which a batter may become a runner, though only one is relevant in this scenario: 6.09(a): "He hits a fair ball." As mentioned above, status was "Not a Fair Ball" at the time of interference. Therefore, the batter has not become a runner and has not completed his time at bat.

Ruling: R1 out for interference, B1 resumes the at-bat, R2 returned to second base; Two outs, R2.

Play: Welcome to Major League Baseball, where the unexpected is downright routine. To set the scene, with one out and runners at first and second base during the bottom of the 7th inning of Sunday's Marlins-Dodgers game, B1 Luis Cruz skied a 1-2 slider from Marlins pitcher Chad Gaudin to the infield's Bermuda Triangle between home plate, the pitcher's mound and first base. Immediately signaled as an "Infield fly, if Fair" by HP Umpire Tony Randazzo, 1B Umpire Todd Tichenor, 2B Umpire Brian Gorman and 3B Umpire Bob Davidson, Marlins catcher Rob Brantly and pitcher Gaudin ran toward the descending pop fly, while first baseman Carlos Lee made contact with Dodgers baserunner R1 Andre Ethier, with Tichenor pointing at the contact as if to call runner's interference. As the baseball glanced off Brantly's glove and into foul territory, plate umpire Randazzo signaled the ball fair while Tichenor raised his arm and pointed skyward, indicating the batter Cruz was out on the infield fly rule. Enjoined to run on his own peril and perhaps looking to capitalize on the confusion reigning along the right foul line, Ethier ran toward second base, causing R2 Adrian Gonzalez to sheepishly break for third, only to be tagged out upon arrival.

Or was he?

After a protest from Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, the umpires conferred and overturned their original ruling, Davidson signalling to Guillen that his presence was required on the field, as crew chief Gorman explained the umpires' call, initially returning Andre Ethier to first base, only to be removed after discussion with Guillen. The final verdict? The ball was foul, negating the infield fly rule's invocation, and Ethier was declared out for interference. Cruz returned to home plate with two outs, a 1-2 count and R2 Gonzalez on second base.

Did the umpires get this call right? Was Ethier correctly ruled out as Cruz was returned to the batter's box on a dead ball call? As Scully said, "Whenever you get into a bowl of spaghetti like this, it's best to back off & let the umpires put their heads together."

This is a group case play; participation is worth one point.
*Thanks to all participants: UEFL'ers cyclone14, Hitit2me, JeremyJ, Josh7377, kickersrule, NorthStarUmpire#2, nwsquid, RadioPearl, RichMSN, SJR, Spence 1222, TXWrangler, UmpAtty and distinguished guests Anonymous (x30?), Brett, cardshk, Chris, DMay, joe greco, LMS1953, Mike, Nate, SJR, wwjd, and Zac

Relevant Rules:
2.00 [Fair Ball], 2.00 [Foul Ball], 2.00 [Infield Fly], 2.00 [Interference](a), 6.04, 6.05(e), 6.09(a), 7.08(b), 7.09(j)

Wrap: Marlins at Dodgers, 8/26/12

106 comments :

SJR said...

it looks as though they called "infield fly if fair." Then they called R1 out for interfering with F3's ability to field the fly ball. The interference supersedes the IF and the ball is dead immediately. From 2.00 INTERFERENCE (Comment): "In the event the batter-runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of pitch." So the other runner went back to 2nd and the batter returned to bat. I think they got it right.

Spence 1222 said...

I have to agree with the announcers that it was indeed at nutty play. My take is that they got it right. You cannot have an infield fly on a foul ball, so Cruz would come back to the plate, and Either should have been and was called out for interference, had he not been parked in the way, Carlos Lee probably would have caught that ball. Though the ball is live on an infield fly, that call was negated, taking the interference call next, as soon as that is called the ball is dead, so Gonzales, is not in jeopardy to be put, for being off second base. They did get it right

Anonymous said...

I think they got it wrong altogether.

Interference interpretation is that only one fielder can be actually fielding the ball. I do not think 1B was the acting fielder, I would have said that was C or maybe even P but 1B did not appear to be the fielder I would have given protection on that call, not all fielders get protection, even if 3 of them are in some way shape or form fielding the ball.

It was definitely a foul ball regardless, they did end up getting that right I do not think they should have had an out call.

chris said...

i think on that play, the inning should've been over as soon as the ball hit fair,
infield fly rule was definitely in affect, so that's the first out and the interference should've been the other out,
had it gone foul, to me, eithier should be out for the interference,
not sure what was called b/c i internet was running slow,

Anonymous said...

The ruling was a foul ball. Ozzie's question should have been, "How did both the plate umpire and the first base umpire not call 'foul?'" If the original call was a fair ball, then that should have been three outs.

chris said...

had a chance to see the entire thing,
umpires got this one right,
looked like it was foul. the home plate umpire may've thought it touched the catcher, but great job by these guys for getting it right,
lots involved in this, but they got everything correct,

Anonymous said...

I don't know the infield fly rule, but letting it go foul seems just like the same thing the rule is protecting the runners from--manipulating the situation to get additional outs. Seems like the batter should be out as soon as it hits fair territory. Then didn't they get another runner out at third.

Very strange!!!

Brett said...

I think they missed it. Tichenor seems to be pointing something which leads me to think he was calling obstruction since he did not kill it immediately. Then IF fly is fair, which it appeared to be fair to me as hit the ground and then contacted the catcher in fair territory before rolling into foul territory. Gonzalez is then thrown out advancing at his own peril. Double play to end the inning. Otherwise, they got it right. Interference dead immediately. Think the interference/obstruction then missing the fair/foul are the keys. Would have to know what Tichenor called.

Anonymous said...

@Brett, if it were obstruction, would Ethier be entitled to second base? If so, wouldn't A_Gon be forced to advance?

Anonymous said...

If you have to start your comment with "I don't know the infield fly rule..." then you shouldn't be commenting.

Anonymous said...

No way that is not Lees ball. When was last time you saw a catcher or pitcher catch a pop up near first base? There was a reason why nobody else could get to the baseball.....

Real question is, do you get two outs if the ball lands fair and stays fair? I say yes.

Anonymous said...

It is not often that Scully gets anything wrong, but by the end he was calling it "obstruction" on Eithier whereas at first he (correctly) called it "interference".

The key to the play seems to be whether the catcher touched the ball in fair territory. If he did, then it was an Infield Fly. BUT, the ball is dead once Interference is called, so that would seem to negate the Infield Fly even if it was ruled fair.

Anon = LMS1953

Anonymous said...

Let's say R2 was breaking with the pitch to third and the batter skies an IF toward SS. R2 realizes the ball has been popped up and reverse back to second. On the way he bumps the SS, knocking him down and interfering with the catch. The batter would be out on the IF and R2 would be out on the interference, right? Or does interference always result in a dead ball that would always negate an Infield Fly? If this case, where the ball is obviously fair and will stay fair if it drops untouched, is not ruled as two outs and the batter is sent back to the plate to bat again (just like the Dodgers game), what is the count on the batter - say it was the first pitch?
Anon = LMS1953

Anonymous said...

Last anon...you are correct...R2 would be called out for interference and BR out on infield fly. Greatest penalty would be enforced.

Mike said...

A) That ball does not look like it would qualify for Infield Fly Rule. That ball is in "no man's land" whereas IFF requires it to be a "routine catch." That ball is not. I guess the only way it could be "routine" is if the 1st baseman had not been interfered with.

Also, they can only choose to protect one fielder from interference. I'm not sure what the requirement is for that. It is definitely a possibility that they chose to protect the 1st baseman who would be the only candidate to make the "routine" catch for IFF.

It's a foul ball so IFF is out anyway. IFF requires it to be a fair ball.

And you know what.. both managers seem to be satisfied with the answers they got. No ejections occurred. Maybe that means they got it "right" regardless! ;)

Anonymous said...

If it was ruled IFF and first touch was fair than BR is out on IFF and Ethier is out on interference. I can't load the video on my POS Evo so I haven't been able to watch the video

Anonymous said...

Finally saw the video...the ball looked like hit landed fair and than touched the shinguard of the catcher in fair territory...that would be a fair ball and the infield fly would be enforced. In the defense of the umpires, no one except for maybe the 2nd base umpire could see if it hit the shinguard or not..that's a tough call. If the ball was ruled foul than they got it right but as is often the case, replay showed that the ball was fair. R1 is called out for interference and the BR is out on the infield fly. Gonzo goes back to second if there was no outs. If there was one out, DP..inning over. Again, with the luxery of replay I don't know that I would have ruled that an infield fly. That ball was in no man's land and you basically had three converging infielders which to me is not the ordinary effort required of an INF fly. The purpose of the INF fly is to prevent the defense from getting a cheap double play. It simply removes the force and it can be called after the ball hits the ground though that rarely happens. That's one of those plays that rarely happens and calling the ball foul probably kept a manager from getting run...right or wrong that's how it happened.

Anonymous said...

Even though he didn't use the terms interference/obstruction correctly and "ordinary effort" with INF fly...Vin Scully is still one of the best announcers...he did a pretty good job of explaining it. How the two biggest pricks outside of Bobby V didn't get run in this is a miracle. I think it's because they didn't know what the rule was.

nwsquid said...

Looks like they ended up ok, but they sure could have gotten there quicker if umpires came up with strong calls. I think the opinion to let things play out was probably wise, but maybe also fueled by the league directive to "get it right" and "huddle up" etc. Umpiring appears to be continuing down the spectrum of a team activity, rather than live and die with your own crap. That works for me, but I question if it is appreciated/noticed by average Joe fans.

7.09j

Josh7377 said...

i really can't tell from the video feeds if it was a foul ball or not.
But--if you call interference, which I'm OK with---and the ball is fair, then it can't be a triple play, because the ball is dead, so Gonzalez can't advance at his own risk. So, with a fair ball, you would have a DP (either and cruz), but not a TP.
If the ball was really foul, then the placement of the runners was correct--either out, gonzalez back to second and cruz at the plate.

Anonymous said...

From RichMSN:

Assuming the ball was correctly called foul:

They got it exactly right.

It's clearly an IFF. The ball was hit high enough that, in the major leagues, this is ordinary effort. I can't imagine a high popup over the infield grass EVER not being ruled an IFF in the big leagues. We teach our HS umpires to call that an IFF in HS games. Even if that falls, it's an easy DP if the fielder picks it up and guns to third first.

I'm also protecting F3. That is a long way from the plate with F2 not able to get into a position to turn and face the stands -- and I'm rarely (if ever) making F1 the protected fielder in the pros. They rarely, if ever, catch popups when another fielder can get to it.

So U1 properly calls interference on R1, the batter hits a foul ball. R1 is out, BR returns to bat with a strike added (provided there's less than 2 strikes). At bat continues.

If it had been ruled fair, R1 would be out due to the interference and the BR would've been out for the infield fly for a double play. I had this happen in a HS game where F6 was coming forward to catch an infield fly and bumped into R2 who was wandering off the base. The BU didn't have time to see the contact, so I ended up calling both the infield fly from the plate and the interference. And yes, I ended up ejecting the offense's head coach, too.

I wonder how the plate guy called it foul and got talked out of it, though. That would be an interesting conversation to hear.

Zac said...

1. The ball was foul. They got that part right. Toward the end of the first video above (Dodgers feed) they show an angle from the first base dugout and you can clearly see it doesn't touch the catcher.

2. They called IFF, which is judgment, so I can go with that. What I don't agree with is the INT on R1. I don't see how the first baseman is the protected fielder here. You can only protect one fielder (Again, judgment), but I just don't see how the pitcher or catcher aren't protected here before the first baseman, so I would have had OBS on the first baseman if the ball was fair. That part is irrelevant though.

I think they ended up okay because they judged F3 to be the protected fielder and both manager went with it, but as far as really getting it right, I think they should have left both runners on base, and the batter should still have a 1-2 count since the ball was foul.

Zac said...

Why are all of my comments being deleted?

RadioPearl said...

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall and hear that crew talk this on over. In the end, I think they got it exactly right. It's an IFF only if the ball is fair. Looks like the catcher completely whiffed and the ball was touched foul making it a foul ball. As for the interference/obstruction at 1B, it appears as if the initial call is obstruction as interference would have resulted in an immediate dead ball. This bowl of spaghetti was made much simpler as a result of the ball being foul! Had we had a fair ball, THAT would have truly been a bowl of spaghetti.

Brett said...

@Anon 11:14, This is Type B obstruction. Ethier would be protected back to first but not to second as he would not obtain 2nd on IF fly. If you have obstruction on a following runner, he cannot advance and force preceding runners to advance. So Gonzalez still advances at own risk on IF fly. Also, there would not be a double play on IF Fly and Interference as this did not occur with a runner standing on a base. I still do not understand why the play was not killed immediately if this was an interference call. Also questionable is the fair/foul. I would like to hear the explanation of the call and resulting out since originally they put Ethier back at 1st.

Anonymous said...

@Brett... this is not Obstruction.. it was ruled Interference, BR out on IFF rule... R1 out for Interference.. this is a dead ball as soon as we have INT.. rule 7.08 (b)

kickersrule said...

The ball goes foul so that takes away the IFF. The interferance is why Either is out. Bob Davidson originally thought the ball was fair which is why he called R2 out. After he found out it was foul he returned him back to 2nd. As usual the umpires got it right.

People on here that dont know anything about umpiring please dont ever listen to annoucers. I garentee you on crazy plays when the umpires get together they will get it right. Although the annoucers on here actually did a good job and also got it right.

kickersrule said...

I should say the marlins annoucers did a good job on knowing what was going on. c'mon scully its not obstruction.

cardshk said...

What does not makes sense is why CRUZ was sent back to the plate. Since "intereference" is immediate dead ball...there is no FOUL or FAIR. The batter should be awarded first base as his at-bat is essentially over. Case in point: If CRUZ had hit a ground ball to SS (lets say a runner on 2nd ONLY), and the runner collides which SS - RUNNER would be out - BUT CRUZ would not be sent back to HIT AGAIN. Does anyone know the rule that permits a batter to hit after an INFERENCE call is made?

Anonymous said...

The ball is imediatley dead with interference, is it not? Why was the batter returned to the plate? Is he not awarded first base on the interference?

Anonymous said...

Brett...you can read Tichenors lips....he points at Ethier and says "that's interference"....just a note, if you're a plumber that doesn't know the difference between interference and obstruction, don't come on here quoting rules. I usually have the misfortune of working games after you and have to clean up your mess. Interference is caused by the offense EXCEPT catchers "interference"....obstruction is caused by the defense.
If obstruction would have been called than Ethier would be awarded second and Gonzo third because he is forced to advance by Ethiers award. Learn your f-ing rules before you come on here and embarrass yourself.

Anonymous said...

Anon 643...randazzo pointed the ball fair originally

Brett said...

@ Anon 9:32. Before you attack someone's knowledge of the rules, you need check your own. My explanation was if it were obstruction. Everyone says its interference, great. Really easy. Ethier out for interference, Gonzalez back to 2nd, and Cruz back to bat with 1- 2 count. The whole thing blows up because Tichenor did not kill it. Also, if this were obstruction and the possibility of an IF fly, umpire's judgement about where to place the runner. He would not be advancing to 2nd base so he would be placed back at 1st. There is no automatic award in OBR or NCAA rulebooks just FED. I know the rules just fine. Correctly answered 229 out 250 at Wendelstedt. Big guys hide behind anonymous instead of signing their name. Difference is I do not try to call people out. @Anon 6:43, I saw that as well. @Anon 9:15, he goes back to bat because the ball was ruled foul.

cyclone14 said...

i agree with RichMSN. R1 would be out assuming ball is called foul. however, the ball does appear to change direction slightly off the catcher's shinguard, and in that case the BR would be out on the IFF, and R1 on the interference.

Ray said...

Vin Scully is returning for 2013

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your resume Brett...now here is the rule...note the part about being awarded one base beyond what they legally occupied.

When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal "Obstruction." If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batterrunner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpires judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction. Any preceding runners, forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liability to be put out

Anonymous said...

Respectfully you're wrong....read farther and you will see that the umpire places the runners where he thinks they would have been to nullify obstruction.

Anonymous said...

@ anomy 9:32.. OBS is not an automatic base award...only in HS...

@ Brett.. one of the 21 questions you must of missed must have been rule 7.08 (b) with the IFF rule and INT there is no judgment on where to place runners.... get your book out and reread... Runners go back to the base occupied at time of Pitch...

Also Brett the ball was ruled fair.. that is why the BR was out and R1..watch the video again.. you can see PU signal fair.

Brett said...

I covered the difference in OBR and FED but my guess is that someone does not know the difference. I totally agree on the interference. But they did not call the batter-runner out in this situation. if they had the inning would have been over. I saw him signal the ball fair. I wondered why the BR wasn't placed at first or called out as the ball was originally called fair. My guess is when they got together, they changed the fair call to foul. If you read the whole story above the BR was returned to the plate with 1-2 count.

cardshk said...

No one seems to be able to reference any MLB actual rule that implicates this ruling was correct. Yes! Either is OUT if interference is called - The ball is DEAD IMMEDIATELY - therefore FAIR/FOUL not a factor. Therefore - the only question left is: Why did the umps send Cruz back to hit again? The only MLB rules that HINTS towards interference indicates a batter is awarded first base - UNLESS the umpire determine the ACT of INTERFERENCE to have prevented a double play - in which the BATTER is ALSO OUT... but no where do MLB rules provide the batter a RE-DO; thats obsurd - by all means please recite a rule contrary - I'd love to see it. If batters got to bat again, then basically if Matt Kemp comes up and hits and infield POP UP, a runner can simply INTERFERE and take himself OUT for interference and Matt Kemp gets another AT BAT....makes no sense - AGAIN because FAIR/FOUL is not a factor - ball is DEAD.

cardshk said...

.... to add to my point - I believe the umps sent CRUZ back to the plate because they DEEMED the ball to have been FOUL - but again, FOUL or FAIR can not be included in the ruling - the INTERFERENCE call is applied to CRUZ's at-bat...therefore his at bat is essentially over.

Anonymous said...

So on a fair fly ball, the BR is awarded first base? But on a foul fly ball, the BR is sent back to bat? What if the ball is caught?

I still feel like since interference was called, that time should be called before the ball becomes fair or foul, so therefore that should not matter.

JeremyJ said...

It may be just my opinion, but I don't have interference here. F5 was looking at the ball and made contact with R1, but in my judgement the contact was incidental. F5 wasn't getting to the ball anyway. He could have gotten to ball in a perfect world, but he slowed up and made no actual attempt to field the ball, instead F2 did, which in my opinion would cease to protect F5. In this situation, I've got a regular foul ball, with R1 and R2 returned to their bases, and BR back at the plate to hit again.

Anonymous said...

How is it remotely possible that the OBR intended to have the batter awarded first base after he hits a FOUL BALL because his teammate broke a rule and interfered with a fielder attempting to catch the foul fly ball??? That makes no sense at all.

I recall the Sporting News had a book, The Knotty Problems of Baseball. There is a picture of a runner standing on third base as F5 is attempting to go through him to catch a ball that landed foul. The comment was that the base was NOT a sanctuary (unless it was an IFF which it was not) and the runner has to avoid the fielder even if it means vacating the base. That is correct, isn't it?

It also makes a lot more sense to rule the B/R out on the IFF (let's say for arguments same that the ball was touched by F2 and thereby fair) and then rule R1 out for interference. The ball would be dead after it landed or was caught by another fielder so the act of interference would not give the offense an advantage if they attempted to advance at their own risk while the fielder is rolling around with a broken rib or something.

I also cannot fathom how this could have been OBSTRUCTION by F3 on R1. Let's say the same contact was made and the IFF was to THIRD. There is NO PLAY being made on R1 so he cannot be awarded any (forward) bases. The obstruction would be rectified by letting him return to first.

ANON = LMS1953

TXWrangler said...

Isn't the only way the batter was returned to the plate because the call was reversed to foul? I don't see how he would have returned to the plate any other way.

chris said...

i think they got it right,
hard to tell if it was foul, but to answer a question from earlier, had it been a fair ball, i think you would've had 2 outs on the play for interference,

UmpAtty said...

Here's what Jaksa/Roder say (and I use their italics, so you know what that means):

"If a batter-runner is not out when interference has occurred, he is awarded first base [italics] unless his batted ball is foul or caught over foul territory. If he is returned to bat, the pitch counts as if it were a regular foul ball [close italics]" So they agree with the call (assuming the ball was foul)

UmpAtty said...

Here's what Jaksa/Roder say (and I use their italics, so you know what that means):

"If a batter-runner is not out when interference has occurred, he is awarded first base [italics] unless his batted ball is foul or caught over foul territory. If he is returned to bat, the pitch counts as if it were a regular foul ball [close italics]" So they agree with the call (assuming the ball was foul)

DMay said...

If you watch the Marlins feed you will see the catcher does not touch the ball. The Umpires got the call correct. Foul ball.

Anonymous said...

@UmpAtty

The B/R is out as soon as he hits an IFF, as long as it subsequently stays "fair". Even if "IFF if Fair" was not yelled out before interference was called. So, if F2 had muffed the catch making it a fair ball, the correct call would have been B/R out on IFF and R1 out in interference. If there were no ours, then the ball would be ruled "dead" from the interference so R2 could not take advantage and advance to third (if the ball kicked off F2 - perhaps even going to DBT where the R2 might have been awarded bases if not for the ball being dead from interference.
ANON = LMS 1953

UmpAtty said...

I agree with (the previous) Anon. I never said differently. However, the play Anon describes is not what happened. I was just passing on a semi authoritative interpretation given that the ball was a foul and therefore not an IFF

wwjd said...

The call is wrong as the catcher had the ball hit his shin guard in fair territory it should be a double play. As the ball is fair the IFF is in effect and Gonzalez is out as he was tagged by the third baseman the interference is ignored as the greater out come is the double play if u enforce the interference there's only two out instead of the inning over with the double play

Anonymous said...

Nope..you're wrong...

Nate said...

Great job by the umpires here. Tichenor gets a medal for 1) being right on the IFF situation 2) catching the interference by either, quickly pointing it out and making the call, and 3) having the presence of mind after all that to closely watch the fair/foul happen and be ready to bail out randazzo who ended up completely straight lined on that aspect (through no fault of his own).

Tonight, the MLB umpire staff are patting themselves on the back for hiring Tichenor when they did.

Only one complaint, and it's minor... why did they bring Eithier back in originally? Was that a dodger misunderstanding, or did they have to go back on that? If so, it was a slight mistake to have to revisit the play twice.

The honorable mentions go to the Marlins broadcast booth for intelligently guiding the fans through that "bowl of spaghetti". And an honorable mention to Vin Scully cause.... Well... He's Vin Scully.

wwjd said...

Prove it the video evidence says it all if u can't see that ball hit the shin guard u need ur eyes checked

joe greco said...

The problem is the ruling is not backed by any actual MLB rule. Sending the batter back is erroneous since a FOUL did not occur. There can be no FAIR or FOUL with interference call. There is absolutely no rule - that I can see that states a batter returns to the plate. Every single rule relating to interference infers the batter is awarded first base - UNLESS the interference was to prevent a double play - THEN the batter is also out. Sending the batter back is a travesty of the game. Again - that mean a base-runner could sacrifice himself for an out - on a FOUL fly ball - for ....lets say, Matt Kemp to have another shot at - in this case - driving in Gonzales from 2nd. Again - the call was HALF wrong and in contravention to MLB rules.

Spence 1222 said...

Timing; The infield fly happens first so it is dealt with first. Had the ball been ruled fair, the ball is live, Cruz is out on IF, Gonzales is out for being tagged out while off base during a live ball situation. Interference is an act by a an offensive player that restores an out the act took away. Since we have an out, on the play with the IFF, and the subsequent out on Gonzales, the interference has not negated an out, and is ignored. To really make it interesting, they could call the interference as well, making it a triple play, after all Bob Davidson is on the crew so we have past experience LOL. Imagine Don Mattinglyh when he goes from none out and 2 runners to nothing. Would not have been pretty!

Nate said...

wwjd - I usually can see pretty well, but sometimes I miss things. In this case, I don't think the ball touched the catcher (or the catcher touched the ball). But if you are positive that's the case, how are you positive it touched him in fair territory? I haven't seen a video angle directly down the line.

And, more importantly what good does it do to make incendiary remarks?

In my opinion, this play isn't "obvious" in any respect.

RadioPearl said...

@WWJD: The video does not clearly show the ball hitting the shin guard. What you see as the ball hitting the shin guard is merely the ball going into the player's shadow causing a bit of an optical illusion.

@Joe Greco: The batter only gets 1B if he hits a fair ball. Since the ball was ruled foul, he's still batting. Are you suggesting that interference by a runner always allows the BR to get 1st, even if they hit a foul ball?

Brett said...

For those saying there is no rule for placing the batter back to bat, read OBR rule 2.00 Interference (A) and Interference (A) comment. This clarifies that if the batter runner does not reach 1B all runners return to their base at the time of pitch. Common sense would tell you that the batter runner cannot reach 1B on a foul ball, so he would go back to the plate with a strike to the count or in this case he already had 2 strikes, so the count remains 1-2. While not a direct rule, it is common sense and fair play and is stated in most umpire manuals.

wwjd said...

The statement was directed at the anon poster

joe greco said...

@Radio Pearl - yes! There cannot be FAIR or FOUL if interference is called on ANY play since the ball is immediately dead - basically FAIR FOUL cannot be included for purposes of imposing penalties for interference. Awarding 1B to BR is not an advantage as his at bat resulted in an OUT. To my earlier point - letting a hitter bat again after HIS previous BATTED BALL resulted in an OUT is in contravention to MLB rules. RULE 10.02 (a)1(iv) indicates an at bat is not counted if BR is awarded first base due to interference OR obstruction. Rule 10.05(b)(5) - The official scorer shall not credit a base hit when a: RUNNER is called out for interference with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball, unless in the scorer’s judgment the batter-runner would have been safe had the interference not occurred. In addition; the umpire has discretion to call out a BR for interference plays (see rule 7.08(b). So, if the UMPIRE COULD call a BR out within the play - that would imply the BR is either awarded a base - OR OUT.

joe greco said...

@Brett - so R1 on 2B - 1st and 3rd are empty lets say; BR hits ground ball and the R1 gets hit by ball - and lets say the umpire of course calls out R1 but doesn't feel a double-play was possible. Based on you're interpretation of Rule 2 - the BR would get to hit again because he hasn't reached base. I guess ultimately more "comments" should be added to the MLB rules. Crazy how this game has been around longer than most - yet there are still situations that are not specified within the rules.. thats why this game is awesome.

Anonymous said...

@Brett

So on interference on a ground ball to SS with R2 interfering before the BR reaches first base, does the BR go back to bat since he had not reached first base?

What bothers me is that the ball is not foul. The play becomes dead at the time of interference, therefore the ball was killed while in flight, before it became foul or fair.

What if the batter runner had reached first base before the interference on the same fly ball over foul territory?

Brett said...

Again, this trying to create something that is not there. In your situation, there can be a couple of outcomes. The usual outcome to this situation is R2 out for interference, since ball was fair, BR awarded 1st base. However, if R2 interference is willful and deliberate, then both R2 and BR would be out for interference. Normally you would be right about the ball being dead at the time of interference but when the IF fly situation exists you must see that requirements of infield fly are met, namely that the ball is fair in this situation.

If this play happens completely over foul territory, "Time" is called immediately once the ball is touched over foul territory and the result is R1 out for interference, R2 back to 2nd, BR back to bat, 1-2 count, 2 outs. Like I said, BR cannot reach base on foul ball, and in this situation whether it caught or not is of no consequence because the only thing that keeps the interference from stopping play is the requirement for the IF Fly to be fair. In you hypothesized situation, as soon as it is touched foul it cannot be and IF fly, so time is called.

I understand the concern on the fair/foul as I originally shared it. After watching it several more times, I do believe the ball was foul with the catcher just whiffing on it.I assumed that you could not have the IF Fly and Interference but by not killing the play and allowing the IF fly to either be completed or not, you allow maximum penalty on the offense for the infraction.

After spending some time with PBUC Manual, Wendelstedt Manual, and OBR, I am convinced that they got this right albeit in a round about manner. This situation is one that is not addressed by the rules so we fall back to 2 clauses that empower umpires 9.01(C)& 9.02(C). They did a good job here.

joe greco said...

EVERYONE... please read this article by MLB Director Tom Lepperd - provides an identicle scenario to the dodger game-call. However if you'll notice, fair or foul is ignored by the umpires as required by interference rules. Basically - this article - by an Authenticated MLB rules director clearly states the UMPs - in the Dodger game - did NOT get the call right. http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/feature.jsp?feature=call3

joe greco said...

......to add; I apologize - the scenario is NOT identical - however, even to further the point - the CAUGHT ball in the scenario was IGNORED by the umps - thus the FOUL ball determination by the UMPS in the Dodger game should also have had NO relavence to the determination/penatly.

Anonymous said...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120828&content_id=37468304&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

Anonymous said...

I agree with UmpAtty and all those who say "correct as called". I am a big fan of J/R and stand by that reasoning.

Hitit2me

NorthStarUmpire#2 said...

From Jaksa/Roder "Rules of Professional Baseball"-"Placement of runners not out;If a batter-runner is not out when interference has occurred he is awarded first base, UNLESS his batted ball is foul...If he is returned to bat, the pitch counts as if it were a regular foul ball." In reference to OBR rule 7.09.

The only way to return the B-R to bat is a foul ball. The crew must have talked this out when they got together. First area of responsibility is fair/foul.

While the ball is in-flight the runner at first is amazed there is a ball in the air and he is clearly worried it might not come down instead of getting out of someone's way, hence he has interfered when the first baseman runs through him in an attempt to field a batted ball. You would not protect any fielder just yet as the batted ball is still high in the air. In MLB they teach the pitcher to stay away from fly balls.

Interference makes the ball dead. Notice Davidson at 3rd base when runner was tagged, he indicates out and quickly tells the runner something. You would not engage in a conversation with a runner who is legally tagged out. You might raise your right arm and tell him we got an out over there.

cardshk said...

@northstarumpire#2 - the problem with your assessment is: the rules clearly state anything AFTER interference IS called/signaled, is ignored. The only inference to FAIR/FOUL upon "interference" is if a runner on 3B is hit with a batted ball if FAIR or FOUL territory. If foul - FOUL BALL - if FAIR - runner out - BR awarded 1B. Notice that if FOUL - the runner is NOT out...assuming is was not a catchable ball by the 3rd baseman. The dodger game-call however resulted in the batter hitting a ball that resulted in an out. This is the first time a batter has essentially batted into an OUT and returned to the plate - again, this is in contravention to MLB rules.

cardshk said...

@northstarumpire#2 - also the rules you're quoting from Jaksa/Roder are not in MLB rules...that is their interpretation. There is nothing in MLB rules that infer a batter is ever returned to the plate after an interference call. The only inference to a batter is that he is either he is ALSO out or not.

Russ said...

This is OT, but Lance Barksdale is listed as working three different games Today. They have in Pittsburgh (where he actually is), Kansas City and Colorado. I know it is actually Lance Barrett in Colorado so the wrong Lance B was entered into the Box score and I have absolutely no idea what is going on in Kansas City.

NorthStarUmpire#2 said...

@cardshk - There is indeed an MLB rule that infers a batter-runner is returned.

Rule 2.00 (interference (a)) comment.

Please forgive me, if you are in possession of the MLB "green book" then I yield. If neither of us has one, then the J/R manual is the best that any of us "professionals who work amateur baseball" can currently utilize.

wwjd said...

Yes there is read the ruling

Russ said...

The box score has been updated. Ted Barrett is in Kansas City but working with Davis's crew as the CC. Gerry is out. But in good news, Greg Gibson is back from his gruesome injury.

UmpAtty said...

I disagree with this comment from the body of the original post:

"The ensuing action on the ground is irrelevant as the play was killed upon the interference call."

Again, citing J/R and OBR 2.00 comment (a), the placing of the B/R depends on whether the batted ball was fair or foul. You have to let it play out to tell

Anonymous said...

If your a tigers fan your probably very mad at ted barrett for calling delmon young's three run home-run foul in the ninth inning which ultimately would have give them the lead. From what is saw it looks like the incorrect call. Got a good view on MLB Network, and the color of the baseball was not seen before the foul poll, which can only mean its fair. Let's not forget they were looking at the replay for 3 minutes. They only see and get what replay's the truck hands them.

Anonymous said...

http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2012_08_28_detmlb_kcamlb_1&highlight_content_id=24300193&c_id=det#/play?content_id=24300193

Anonymous said...

Idk, I looks inconclusive to me actually now i look at it. I gotta say though, tough way to lose a game if your a tigers fan.

Anonymous said...

Would it be good to place camera's on the left and right field foul poll would that help. Wouldn't cost so much for baseball. They couldn't protest this because i guess this is a judgement call evan though they been handed replay so they justify this call as foul idk.

Anonymous said...

After seeing it again, i think it the correct call now, at worst inconclusive. I think Ted Barrett got it right wow. HAHAHA 50/50 chance and he got it right, but good call none the less.

Russ said...

I was watching the KC feed live and it looked foul to me. They showed the camera to the left of the foul pole directly looking at the pole. You can see the ball and then it disapears for a little bit only to be seen again over the wall. I think it disapeared because it was to the right of the foul pole and thus blocked out. This was a tough call and even if it may have been fair, I think Barrett made the right decision in keeping it foul because I am not seeing anything definitive as to whether it was foul or fair and if that is the case you have to stay with the call on the field.

Anonymous said...

Agree 100%. Could not be more right Russ ^^^^

Anonymous said...

If im a tigers fan, im going to bed so fast and praying for tomorrow game to start quickly so that they can put this behind them..

Anonymous said...

Hard to believe that if the interference is recognized, that the batter is not given first base.

A ball caught in foul territory is not a foul ball. I still don't even think this ball became a foul ball. The ball was dead at the moment of interference. The interference changed whether this ball would have been foul or fair, because the first baseman was not able to catch it over fair territory.

Referencing rule 2.00 is not relevant. This pertains to other runners, not the BR, because we know for a fact that a ground ball interference play in fair territory that happens before the BR reaches first base results in the BR being awarded first base, unless their is willful and deliberate intent to break up a double play by the offender.

I am not sure where everyone is getting the "let it play out" reference. That's like having a "fan interference" call, killing it, but letting it play out to see what happens to make your decision. This can't be done. Once the call is made the play is dead, and the call has essentially changed what may happen next.

The play at hand is a perfect example. The interference definitely had an impact on this ball rolling untouched into foul territory. Had the offense not occurred, the ball likely would have been caught in fair territory by F3.

I actually can't find a rule reference that specifically awards the BR first base if this happens over fair territory. The only BR award of first base I see in the rulebook is when a runner is actually stuck by the ball.

It's just hard for me to fathom returning the batter to bat (like he gets a redo) when we don't ever have those in OBR. His at bat created action, causing an out. Seems like his at bat has ended.

joe greco said...

@northstarumpire#2 - the rule 2.00 as you apply it would mean that on a FAIR or FOUL ball the batter would return..had he not reached 1B. By way of your interpretation - if BR hits ground ball and the ball R1 collides with SS - you are suggesting R1 out - and BR returns to the plate?? Also - since the rule 2 comment infers to the RUNNERS returning to base - the presumption would be more rational that "the batter-runner has not reached" could infer to the umpires having declared the batter ALSO out. Think of this as the flow of the game ---- The batter MUST be on a base IF the batter is NOT put out on a batted ball - Called out for another reason - or the ball goes foul (remember - on interference a FOUL ball cannot exist); therefore, there is no scenario in which interference could be ruled on a batted ball and the runner is retruned to the plate. In the days to come - I gaurantee you will see a write up by MLB pro-umpires declaring the call was incorrect.

Anonymous said...

It's not the batter who caused an out, it's the runner who caused the out.

Anonymous said...

@Aug29-1125a comment: the batter not being OUT does not constitute a return to the plate. Otherwise a runner who gets hit with a ground ball while running - before the ball passes a field - would constitute ALSO sending the BR back to the plate - which does not occur. The rules are created to keep the FLOW of the game from being altered. By sending a BR back to the plate - that does not NULLIFY the interference - because a batted ball would have OUT - had the interence not occured (or at least that is what is ASSUMED by the interference rule); thus, the batter has completed his at bat.

Anonymous said...

**correction - @Aug29-1125a comment: the batter not being OUT does not constitute a return to the plate. Otherwise a runner who gets hit with a ground ball while running - before the ball passes a fielder - would ALSO constitute sending the BR back to the plate - which does not occur - the BR is awarded 1B (unless the umpire feels a DP was possible - in which case the BR is ALSO OUT). The rules of baseball are created to keep the FLOW of the game from being altered. Sending a BR back to the plate - does not NULLIFY interference - because the "interfered" batted ball would have cause an OUT - had the interence not occured (or at least that is what is ASSUMED by the interference rule); thus, the batter's turn - or "at bat" is concluded.

Anonymous said...

Great analysis of this play on OP. Answer makes a heck of a lot of sense, given that the ball had no fair or foul status at the time it went dead. This isn't basketball or football, folks. The play doesn't stay alive when it's killed (hence, "DEAD BALL"), we don't get to see how it will play out except where provided by the rules, a la catcher's or umpire's interference, but NOT offensive interference.

Anonymous said...

If the interference call indeed made the ball immediately dead (as the rule reads, then it seems the proper call would have been a double play. The batter hit an IFF by which he is out "if fair". The interference call was made when the ball was in/suspended over fair territory. Hence that could have been the rationale to award two outs. But the whole purpose of the IFF is to prevent "easy" DPs.

Let's say the batter hit a high pop up with R1 and R2 on base down the first baseline. "IFF if Fair" is yelled out. The ball obviously twists foul. The first baseman tracks the pop-up toward the coaches box. Case 1- he gets tangled up with the coach and the ball drops. Ruling- the batter is out for coach's interference. Case 2- he gets tangled up with the runner who is obligated to get out of the way. The ball drops foul in the coach's box. Ruling- R1 is out for interference and batter returns to bat as if he hit a foul ball. Combining these cases, which are rather obvious rulings, show that the crew made the proper ruling - sprinkled with a bit of 9.02 discretion (to be applied when there is no exact rule. Personally, I think MLB ought to address the issue of runner's interference on an IFF. Runner should be out for the interference and batter should be out if the ball initially lands fair- where it will be ruled "dead"- with no regard for where it subsequently bounces off to.
Anon = LMS1953

RichMSN said...

I'm amazed at all the posts on this thread that think that a fair/foul decision on this is made at the TOI. It's not. By *definition*, the ball is neither fair nor foul until it touches the ground beyond the diamond, touches the defender, or comes to a stop. A ball suspended in the air can never be fair or foul until something happens that defines it as a fair or foul ball.

The J/R reference is posted above. While I'm not always enamored by J/R, in this case they merely spell out which is the only possible result that can come about, BY RULE.

BTW, if the interference happened while the ball was suspended over foul ground, landed foul, and rolled into fair ground and stopped in the infield, it would be treated as an infield fly. Where the ball is suspended is completely irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

@August 30, 2012 5:52 AM comment - MLB rules are very clear that on interference - TWO outs (the runner and the batter) are only out when the interference was intended as adjudged by the umpire to have prevented a double-play. In the dodger game there would be absolutely no reason to believe a double play was possible - thus two outs would NOT be the ruling - thus the BR would be awarded first.

Anonymous said...

RichMSN, I agree 100%. I was trying to show that if the ball is "dead" at the time of interference, there is still the need to act on the IFF. The batter is out BEFORE to interference if the ball is fair.

ANON = LMS1953

Anonymous said...

@Anon 8:37
OBR is also very clear that the BATTER is OUT if an IFF is called. The rules don't say "Infield Fly if fair AND there is no runner's interference". The more I think about the play, the batter should have been out on the IFF and R1 should have been out for interference.. The interference prevented F3 from fielding the ball to make it fair. Interference needs to be called on R1 as a penalty against R1 and R2 taking advantage of the ball dropping in and allowing them to advance "at their own risk".
ANON = LMS1953

Anonymous said...

Batter can't be out on foul ball.

Anonymous said...

Except when the infield fly is in effect. The BR is not because of the INT, he's out because of the IFF.

Anonymous said...

The Rulebook does cover it. The problem is too many plumbers come on here not knowing the rules.

Anonymous said...

The batter returned to bat because the ball was ruled foul.

Anonymous said...

Two rules are never applied-that is in contravention to the rules. As indicated in the rules....interference has precedence and all other action is ignored. This is irrefutable as scully stated "forget the play, forget the play". So how could the play be forgotten yet still apply a foul ball to that hit? Answer is it doesn't, the runner is out, batter awarded first base. Case in point, if the catcher would have fought the ball...... The umps would NOT have ruled a double play- this is verified by Ted Lepperd- MLB umpire director. Case closed, the ruling was incorrect for allowing br to bat again.

Anonymous said...

correction - the ump director is Tom Lepperd... here's the link that applies enough credential to govern the call at the dodger game - RULING would be - R1 OUT for interference - BALL DEAD - BR awarded 1B.

Anonymous said...

...the link for the ruling from MLB is: http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/feature.jsp?feature=call3

Anonymous said...

The director of umpires is wrong. Look, you have R1 and R2 and one out. The batter hits an IFF. The end state should be R1 and R2 with two outs. The offense commits an infraction of interference. There is no "end state" penalty the way the MLB genius interprets the rule. That makes no sense at all. J/R agrees as well, so I am not just pulling this out of my butt.

Try this amalgamation of plays that have happened within the past month or two. R1 and R2 with one out. F1 does not come to a complete stop at the set and a balk is called. Batter hits an IFF pop-up as it this case except there is catcher's interference as the bat tips the mitt. R1 interferes with F3 attempting to catch the IFF. F2 races out to catch the pop-up down the first base line. Instead the ball smacks off his shin guard and is deflected to the opponents dugout and rolls into dead ball territory - the contact was in fair territory. So, what is your ruling?

ANON = LMS1953

Anonymous said...

To make it a bit more interesting and avoid the "interference takes precedence and makes it immediately a dead ball" argument - scratch that aspect for now. Just say Carlos Lee lost it in the sun and it wasl left to F1 and F2 to attempt to catch the called IFF.

ANON = LMS1953

Anonymous said...

brett- really? wendlestat lied to you about your score to make you feel better.

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